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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 22, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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>> brown: and we mark the 40th anniversary of the "roe v. wade" decision by the supreme court, with a look at the strategies of abortion rights advocates and opponents. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: close to iconic landmarks, to local life, to cultural treasures. it's a feeling that only a river can give you. these are journeys that change your perspective on the world. and perhaps even yourself. viking river cruises. exploring the world in comfort. >> bnsf railway. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: president obama's forceful new focus on progressive ideals echoed across the nation on this day after the inauguration. and it earned him both praise and potshots. the president's inaugural themes lingered in the air this morning at a traditional prayer service at the washington national cathedral. methodist pastor adam hamilton offered words of praise in the cathedral's great vaulted sanctuary. >> we americans say it seldom, but we should say it far more often. thank you for giving yourselves, for sacrificing, for living in glass houses, for accepting the
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constant barrage of criticism with very little praise. for being willing to risk everything in order to serve this country. thank you. ( applause ) and yesterday you began to lay out a vision for us in your inaugural address that was very powerful and compelling. >> ifill: mr. obama used that 18-minute address to tack toward a more overtly liberal agenda, perhaps most notable on gay rights >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters treated like anyone else under the law. for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. >> i now pronounce you married. fill: the president first announced his support of same sex marriage last may. but that reference for a first for a presidential inaugural speech. he also raised immigration reform. an issue that went unaddressed for much of his first term. >> our journey is not complete until we find a better way to
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welcome the hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. until bright, young students and engineers are lifted in our work force rather than expelled from our country >> ifill: the president singled out climate change as well, another issue that remains largely on the back burner during his first four years in the white house. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change. knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. ( applause ) some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms >> ifill: the calls to action drew cheers from the hundreds of thousands of well wishers on the national mall and from most democrats. but republicans complained of a defiant tone and a sharply left
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ward turn, noting, for example, that the president has mentioned the deficit just once. the super pac cross roads g.p.s. unveiled a web video citing news accounts of the speech. >> the progressive liberal agenda is what he's now clearly staking his second term on. >> ifill: and at the capital today, republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell joined the criticism >> one thing that pretty clear from the president's speech yesterday, the era of liberalism is back. unabashedly far left of center inauguration speech certainly brings back memories of the democratic party of ages past. if the president pursues that kind of agenda, obviously it's not designed to bring us together and certainly not designed to deal with the transcendent issue of our era which is deficit and debt. until we fix that problem, we
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can't fix america. >> ifill: white house officials dismissed that critique today. they said the president will speak directly to a wider array of issues in his state of the union address in february. >> brown: so how is the president framing his second term? joining us now for a broad view: angela glover blackwell, founder and c.e.o. of the advocacy group policy link in oakland. the reverend adam hamilton of the united methodist church of the resurrection in leawood, kansas, and author of "when christians get it wrong." as we saw, he delivered today's sermon at the prayer service. ramesh ponnuru, senior editor at the "national review," columnist for "bloomberg view," and visiting fellow with the american enterprise institute. and trey grayson. he was the republican secretary of state in kentucky, and is now director of the institute of politics at harvard university. welcome to all of you. angela glover blackwell, i think ilstart with you. what did you hear in that speech? what vision was the president putting out this yesterday?
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>> i heard a leader who is prepared to honestly take the american people into the future, a leader who wants america to return to first principles of equality, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness but tie them to the reality of today. i heard a leader who understands that our today's reality, becoming a nation in which the majority will be people of color very soon, is a nation that has the quality and assets that this world without boundaries is demanding. so i was really delighted to see an embracing of the future but also an embracing across struggles. mentioning seneca falls, selma, stonewall. our history as this nation has been one of we achieve our best when we're willing to struggle. so the embracing of struggle and also thinking about the generations that have to own today but lead us tomorrow when he talked about four years from
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now, 40 years from now and 400 years from now really made me see that he is not running away from our change and sees value in it >> brown: ramesh ponnuru, what did you hear? i suspect something different >> i did hear a president who is very interested in that kind of ideological struggle but not terribly interested in unemployment. it was really remarkable that it was not treated as a crisis even though we have unemployment at about the same level as we had four years ago when he first took office. we have no sense from this inaugural address that the welfare state is facing any kind of long-term financing crisis or anything that would require more than a little bit of tweaking, some sort of technocrat i can change to bend the cost curve down. in these senses i think this was a speech that was sort of aggressively running away from reality. that i think strikes me even more than the lack of bipartisanship and the aggressionive support for big
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government was that there's just no sense of that... that these things are part of our reality. >> brown: rev. hamilton, what did you hear? you had an interesting look from the pulpit today >> sure. well, first of all i think when the president is giving an inaugural address like this,ese trying to cast a lofty vision for the future rather than trying to get into the details of policy. so for me i heard him speaking about equality. i heard him speaking about the vision of children being able to have a future with hope. and i wasn't expecting him to give a detailed analysis of the economy today and what needs to be changed. i'm not suggesting that's not important but i was hearing him speak about lofty ideas of equality and freedom >> brown: yet he did point to some specific things as we heard in gwen's set-up >> that is true when it came to global warming or addressing the global climate change, i think we have to be willing to address these things. >> brown: trey grayson, what did you hear? >> i heard a pretty visionary,
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pretty articulate speech, articulate in a progressive vision for the country. i would agree with ramesh that the lack of the economy or references to the deficit in his speech was a little surprising given that that's the... probably the biggest issue of today (audio is) the fiscal cliff and everything else. and the fact that that was the number one issue on voters' minds even at the thematic level that was missing and a bit of a surprise >> brown: to stay with you, were you surprised by the emphasis on things such as gay rights or climate change, some of the specifics that he did point to? >> yeah, you know, he did get specific on those. i wasn't surprised on the issues that he picked. the one issue that i thought came across and maybe it will have the most impact by his words were the references and the discussion about gay equality. that's something where the country is moved really fast
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over the last couple of years. i think as a president he may have the ability via the bully pulpit to really advance that particular issue. that may be the most lasting impact of his speech. >> brown: angela blackwell, to come back to where you opened this discussion i was thinking of what we heard this label by opponents as an era of liberalism being back. do you accept that? did you hear that? >> as a person who is liberal and progressive, i did feel that the agenda that i embraced was being put forward. but i think that the is the agenda that the nation needs. i disagree with the observation that the economy wasn't in this discussion because there was a lot of discussion about inequality. the reference to we couldn't survive as a nation half slave and half free led right into we can't survive as a nation where so few have so much and so many have so little. the antidote to inequality is equity and full inclusion. that means jobs. that means investing in
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communities. so what we often label a liberal agenda is now an essential agenda. this is where america has to go to thrive. >> brown: ramesh look, i don't think that the public thinks equality in the economy is more important than jobs or that they are the same. but i think we do basically agree that this is the liberal vision of government. it's really striking how few trade-offs the president is willing to acknowledge in his speech. there are no problems with entitlements. they don't sap our initiative. there's no reason to reduce or revamp them in anyway because that would be walking back from our commitment to our senior citizens. there is nothing that we can not solve by an ever-larger government. in fact that's the story he tells about american history. american history is a story of our discovering our need for ever larger government. well, i am not sure that that's at all what the public wanted whennity lected him but we're
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going to find out over the next few years >> brown: you're hearing this as a more aggressionive stance which this is the way i want to go forward without bringing everyone along? >> well, look, there was nothing in this speech to bring along other people the way previous inaugural addresses have tried to make some gesture toward the other party. and i think that that is, you know, that's not republicans that republicans should whine about. he did win the election he's entitled to try this very liberal strategy and see if it succeeds for him and if it's the way to get his agenda through. i tend to have my doubts. we're all going to find out. >> brown: rev. hamilton, by your role you get involved in all the social issues of our time. did you hear the president making a kind of aggressionive statement about, "this is the way forward for all of us" or did you hear him reaching out to embrace people, to help create that? >> i think it's a great question. i wish he had done more to reach out. in fact that was the point of my message today at the national
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cathedral was to say, you know, we need a new american vision that's not just democratic or not just republican. it has to be a new vision that brings people together. if we had a new vision with key strategic goals that republicans and democrats have crafted together and say this is what we're going to work together over the next ten years, it would have a huge impact on bringing americans together. i wish that he had done more of that >> brown: so you liked his message overall >> i liked the idea of... brown: but you didn't like the lack of embrace >> right. i would have loved for him to have done more to reach out to people across the line. i think when the president recommends something, unfortunately in the polarized place that we are today, the president makes a recommendation or puts forth a proposal, immediately there's going to be a negative response to that. i think in bringing people together, which is what i'm hearing across the country, is please, president, bring us together or leaders of our government bring us together. it's going to have to be republicans and democrats working together to forge whatever those, you know, visions, dreams, whatever you want to call them are, that we can work together on.
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we're going to gis agree on a whole host of other issues. i wish he had done more in that regard. he clearly articulated what he's been saying at least through the election. and the campaign. in concern for rights for people and concern for both the elderly as well as children in poverty and looking at lifting up the middle class. but, yes, i do think that there's a need to bring us together. >> brown: trey grayson, what do you think about that question of how much he reached out? and of course this is relevant for going forward because there's so much on the table now in washington. >> there is a lot on the table. earlier somebody made the reference to the fact that there was also a state of the union address which will come up in a few weeks. that is really part 2 of the beginning of this term. he's going to set forth maybe more specific policy agenda. the one area where i said i thought he empathized in his speech that perhaps could be an area for common ground is immigration. over the last week or so you've seen senator marco rubio from
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florida come up with a pretty comprehensive immigration reform package or ideas. that could be a place where the president and certainly senator rubio but other members of the republican party could take an issue that's hard and it's historically been hard to reach compromise on and maybe find the common ground, find the soluti solution. so that might be something we might want to look out for over the next few weeks in addition to all the talk about the economy and that and deficits. >> brown: what's your answer to what others have commented on here as to the kind of signal the president was sending as to what kind of leader he wants to be? you know, with his vision now or reaching across the aisle? >> i thought it was more of an articulation of his vision not as much signaling reaching across the aisle. that was the message he ran on in this first race and aate lot of the message of his first inaugural. less so in this particular speech. but as ramesh pointed out, he won the election. it's his opportunity to set forth that. we're in a divided time right
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now. so maybe this is the correct approach if he wants to advance those particular issues but i would have likedded to have seen a few more olive branches in the address >> brown: angela blackwell you talked about agreeing with the vision he put forward. you put it into policy terms or politic terms going forward, we've been talking about a divided washington here. what do you think is viable now? what do you want him to do next? >> that's where the reaching out really happens. he wants to and i want to see him really invest in educating our children. that means universal preschool education. that's true for somebody in rural alabama and in detroit. we really need to invest in infrastructure. he talked about that. that's good for all of america to physically be able to compete in the global economy. but there must be a pathway to jobs for those who are too often left behind. we absolutely have to create a pathway to citizenship. we have to go beyond the dream act to really including people
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so that not only are they able to contribute but the nation is able to benefit. we need to raise the minimum wage. we need to index it to inflation. these are things that aren't just the people who are black and latino. these are all americans. i think this reaching across requires that we see ourselves and the other. if we can see ourselves in the other, we realize that the agenda for those who are too often left behind is an american agenda >> brown: i have to point out that here we are talking about divided washington, right? divided america on many of those issues you just mentioned. do you think the politics have changed dramatically enough for something to happen the way you'd like to see them happen? >> it's possible. it is possible. people know that something is different in this country. the majority of babies being born today are of color. we will soon be a nation of color. we saw it in our politics. we have to go beyond winning the vote to winning the future. that means we have to come up with strategies that allow those who are going to make it the majority of the nation help this nation be all that it can be.
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i absolutely think the door is wide open. people want to change. everybody has got to be sick of this divided nation. we have to start appreciating our assets and invest in them. >> brown: ramesh ponnuru, it didn't sound as though republicans were immediately falling in line, i guess, right? i mean, do the political battles just go on? >> i think so. i think that that really was more of a battle cry speech... >> brown: you do? the thing that strikes me about it again compared to the first inaugural address. that first inaugural address was more conciliatory, was more focused on the concerns about the economy than the more liberal elements of his agenda. yet that was at a time when there was a strong liberal democratic majority in the u.s. house. now there's a republican house. and yet he's only moved further left, rhetorically. i think almost everything that he was discussing that we've been discussing here is going to be dead on arrival in the republican house.
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>> brown: dead on arrival. all the issues we talked about >> almost everything. there is a possibility for something on immigration. i think the assault weapons ban, he's not going to get any action out of the house on that. he's not going to, i think, see any cap-and-trade type climate change legislation. he certainly not going to see any higher taxes coming out of the republican congress. >> brown: i'm sure you started the day with some hope in the church. where do you come out now after listening to this? >> i think there's still hope. i do think it's critical that we have a common vision that we work on. in my sermon today with the president i just said it may be the most important thing that you have on your agenda is to bring us together. if you can find some way, if we can find some way to come together around a couple of common, you know, common objectives, that helps us resolve some of these other things. right now we're so divided that no matter what comes up, we're going to find the same gridlock we have right now. i ti there's got to be... this has got to be an agenda near the
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top of the agenda to say -- i'm not minimizing anything else, those all need to happen -- they're not going to happen until we figure out how we work together, listen to one another, embrace the differences and find some way to forge forward. i don't see much hope for... i guess i agree with you, i don't see much hope for us seeing much movement until we find some way to work together. >> brown: trey grayson, a last word from you because you're working there at a bipartisan i guess think tank on politics. what do you see? >> i'm always trying to look for the bright of side of things. one of my concerns when i look at washington and some of the divides going on and as i said i'm not sure this speech did much to address that. we care a lot about young people not just college students but young americans. they're very cynical and distrustful of politics and government. my hope is that over the next few months we'll see some surprises that will cause these young people to say, hey, you know, government can work.
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politics can work. they can actually address some of these issues and especially the long-term issues. these are the folks that are going to have to pay off that debt that is getting larger and largerment i'm still going to be optimistic but i think it will be a tough couple years in washington unfortunately. >> brown: trey grayson, angela glover blackwell, rev. adam hamilton and ramesh ponnuru, thank you all four >> you're welcome. thank you. >> brown: what are th >> brown: and what are the great expectations of the american public for the president in his second term? hari sreenivasan was on the national mall yesterday. on the rundown online, you can hear what issues people hope to see addressed. >> ifill: and to the other news of the day. house republicans forged ahead with a plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling through may 19. that vote is set for tomorrow. congressman paul ryan, last year's republican vice presidential nominee, said today republicans want to shift the focus to enacting a budget, with major spending cuts.
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the senate is going on four years now for not having passed a budget. we think this gives us the time we need in this nation to have a good, thorough vigorous and honest debate about what it takes to get our fiscal house in order and about how to budget. families budget. businesses budget. our federal government should budget. >> ifill: the bill also says if lawmakers don't enact a budget with spending cuts, they won't be paid. in the senate, democratic majority leader harry reid declined to comment on that provision, but he did say that, in general, he welcomes the house move. >> i'm very glad that they sent us up a clean... they're going to send us a clean debt ceiling bill. the other stuff on it will athat when we need to. i'm glad we're not facing crisis here in a matter of a few days. >> sreenivasan: president obama said he wanted a longer-term extension of the debt ceiling. but a white house spokesman said today the president will accept a short-term bill if it reaches his desk. without an extension, the
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government could run out of money within a month. a deep freeze lingered in the upper midwest today with temperatures dropping in some places to minus 30 fahrenheit. wind chills made it even worse. across the region, people bundled up to face the cold, and some schools closed. frigid arctic air swept down from canada last saturday. authorities attribute at least three deaths to the weather so far. american military transport planes have joined the french effort to repel islamist rebels in mali. pentagon spokesman george little confirmed today that u.s. c-17's have flown five missions to the african nation in recent days. they ferried more than 80 french troops and 120 tons of equipment. little said the u.s. is still considering whether to provide aerial refueling planes. at least 17 iraqis died in a series of car bombings in and around baghdad today. dozens more were injured. one blast targeted a crowded market in the shiite neighborhood of shula, where the burnt-out shells of cars and other charred debris littered the streets.
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there was no immediate claim of responsibility. the u.n. secretary-general has offered a grim appraisal of the situation in syria, essentially saying there's little hope for any diplomatic solution. ban ki-moon spoke today during his first news conference of the year at the u.n. in new york. >> we are still a long way from getting the syrians together. the key decisions about the country's future are in the hands of the syrians. but the international community and in particular the secretary council has a grave responsibility to act to bring the desperate suffering of the syrian people to an end. >> ifill: also today, russia began evacuating its citizens from syria, as fighting escalated around damascus. the russians have been a main ally of the assad regime. the u.n. security council today condemned north korea's latest rocket launch and approved expanded sanctions.
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the vote was unanimous. north korea has insisted the december launch placed a weather satellite in orbit. the u.s. has said it was actually a test of long-range missile technology. the u.n. resolution demands the north halt plans for further launches and abandon nuclear weapons work once and for all. u.s. trade representative ron kirk will step down next month. the former dallas mayor announced his intentions in a statement today. he gave no indication today of what he'll do next or who will succeed him. and on wall street, stocks rallied again. the dow jones industrial average gained 62 points to close at 13,712. the nasdaq rose eight points to close above 3143. and still to come on the newshour, the elections in israel; evidence of concussions in retired football players; "roe v. wade" and a landmark ruling 40 years on.
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>> brown: now, to israel, as election results come in tonight, prime minister benjamin netanyahu appears to be on his way to another term in office. but as margaret warner reports, his next government could look quite different from his last. >> warner: the prime minister's victory came as no surprise as the leader had a significant lead the polls heading into the election. whatever governing coalition he tries to put together it's sure to include new faces and new agendas that will influence the country. one of those naftali bennett, a high-tech millionaire and former leader who remodeled and old religious and nationalist party for the 21st century, calling it the jewish home. he was out early at a polling station in tel aviv. >> i think we're starting something new in israel.
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hey! we're trying to unite all the various tribes in israel, the secular, the religious, the ultrareligious, the jews, the arabs, everyone together to unite israel and do something good for this nation >> warner: his comments were inclusive. bennett's platform has a hard edge. the time for negotiating with the palestinians is over, he says. just annex parts of the west bank. the campaign has drawn an enthusiastic following. >> the fresh face and the als also... he also has a lot of abilities to contribute and to unite. religious people and secular people. i think he's very attractive figure for many, especially for those in israel. >> warner: the other major new face at least as a political figure is a former tv anchor and columnist who launched his own
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movement. there is a future. it propelled itself into contention with the detailed pitch for middle class votes and a centrist mess and of hope and change. >> because in a world, in an age where people do everything to escape responsibility, you took responsibility. because in an atmosphere where everybody is staying in their home and accusing each other, addicted to the politics of hate and fear, you decided to take the chance and believe in something. so you are my heroes. >> warner: lapid is pushing to reverse the cloud of religious conservative on government policy, education, housing and the draft. fellow former journalist shelly yachimovich is hoping to resurrect the prominence of the labor party which has been in decline for more than a decade. she's leading the party that drove the peace process towards a different message this time focusing almost exclusively on economic and social issues. for many israelis those concerns
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matter most in 2013. >> i want middle class concerns taken care of. it is slowly collapsing. for young couples like me and my husband it is almost impossible to buy a flat or a house. it is even hard to raise a child and to live with respect. >> warner: a plurality of israelis however have voted to keep the leader they know. the prime minister built his appeal around his decades of experience and his image as a tough guy in a dangerous neighborhood. that worked for this couple who brought their young twins to the same polling station where bennett voted. they both work in israel's booming high-tech sector. both cast their votes for netanyahu. how important is security as an issue to the two of you? >> very important. that's why i think netanyahu is the only one who can do it
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>> warner: but tonight israel's voters were saying they want him to listen to other voices too. >> ifill: i'm joined now by margaret who is at likud party headquarters in tel aviv tonight. margaret, we know who the winner apparently is. that's benjamin netanyahu but there's something else happening right underneath, another story, another drama playing out. >> warner: yes. the drama, gwen, was not that netanyahu won, though he won much more narrowly than people thought, but that the second place finisher was not the old traditional labor war horse of shelly yachmovich nor even the hot ticket multimillionaire software developer and ultrarightest naftali bennett but the centrist candidate yair ladid whom you just saw in my taped piece who spoke consistently to and about the middle class and their concerns. now just five days ago he was projected to win 11 seats in the
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knesset. he's now projected to win 19. >> ifill: does this mean, margaret, that netanyahu, even though he is the winner, now has to look to him to form a coalition? >> warner: he does, gwen. in fact, prime minister netanyahu was just here. he said he's already reached out. it was clear he meant to lapid. even before tonight's result, advisors to both camps were saying he was likely to reach out to lapid first because lapid is a centrist. he has one nonnegotiable demand which is that the religious, the ontario dks here be subjected to the draft. nenetanyahu has no problem with that. otherwise he's appealing to both left and right because he's focusing on economic issues. in fact there was a prominent likud backer here tonight who said, well, he's well known from television. he's good looking. he's handsome. he's articulate and he speaks
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good sense. so there isn't likely to be a huge rejection of lapid-netanyahu coalition by netanyahu's traditional supporters but that still only leaves him with 50 of the 60-plus that he would need. so it's really where netanyahu goes to next. does he go to the right? does he go to the left? does he go to fringe parties what will influence the tenor of his next government >> ifill: margaret, this is what you do really well. would you explain to us why this internal drama that's happening in israeli politics, the left -- who is stronger tonight, the left, the right, what effect on does that on u.s. policy and especially on the peace process and the two-state solution we've all been watching so closely? >> warner: well, it will come as no surprise, gwen, to you to know that the americans, the white house and so on, while keeping, of course, a good distance cared very much about
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who wins and who is in the coalition government. and so i am sure -- though i didn't speak to anyone tonight but speaking to people before -- that they are cheered by the fact that lapid is the second strongest shower. he's the one who will be the main coalition partner with netanyahu, not naftali bennett who, as i reported, has taken a very tough stance towards the palestinians, to say that we've made these offers over and over. they've been rejected. let's stop trying to do it. so that... the fact that lapid is going to be his main partner and lapid has steered a middle course, he still believes in the two-state solution. at the same time he isn't advocating giving up, say, the bigger settlements on the west bank. it means that netanyahu has more freedom to maneuver if he wants to on the peace process than he did in his current coalition with someone whose name i won't mention but another right wing
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person who is his coalition partner. on iran, there is not a huge difference. i think netanyahu is driving that policy. it was not a point of contention in the campaign with one exception. lapid did say about two months ago he was critical of netanyahu for trying to force president obama to set a deadline on iran. and he said the u.s.... israel should be working with the u.s., not trying to put pressure on the u.s., to solve this iranian nuclear weapons problem. >> warner: margaret, thank you. i get the feeling there's a lot more yet to unfold tonight and in the coming days. thank you so much. we'll hear more from margaret as she travels through israel, the west bank and gaza over the next week and a half. until then, you can read dispatches from her, and from
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our reporting team, online. >> brown: next, how brain scans may be able to help identify serious head injuries to living and retired football players and the rest of us. in less than two weeks football fans will gather for the country's biggest sporting event, super bowl sunday. even as pro football's drawing strong ratings, there are growing concerns about the long-term effects of concussions and other hits to the head. today researchers in california and illinois reported they can identify protein deposits in the brains of living players that could help identify those at risk of developing an injury known as c.t.e., chronic traumaticken self-op thee. the study done by gary small of ucla and others is quite small. five former players, all retired and between the ages of 45 and 73, were given a compound that showed a build-up of a protein known as toa in the brain.
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>> here's the cortex brown: dr. small is the lead author of the new paper published in the american journal of geriatric psychiatry >> this is the first time we've been able to image in living football players protein deposits that we've observed in people with alzheimers disease >> brown: c.t.e. has only been identified post mortgage em in autopsies by looking at cross-sections of the brain. wayne clark a back up quarterback with the chargers in the '70s is is one of the players who participated. he has mild memory loss >> when i first saw the scan i thought, whoa, that looks pretty extensive. i know recalling names which i recall used to be pretty easy for me. now i go through stages where i think, oh, how come i can't remember that? and i'm always wondering, are these age-related or are they concussion related >> brown: finding so far are preliminary. they may help doctors identify and treat brain disease before it impacts other players.
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the issue is a major concern for football at the professional and collegiate level and possibly even younger players. more than 4,000 former players are suing the nfl for head injuries and the risked they face. we get more on this study from its lead author dr. gary small professor of aging and director of the longevity center at ucla and author of the book the alzheimers prevention program. he joins us from new york. doctor, why is it important to be able to look at living players rather than at autopsies? what's the significance? >> generally the brain gets damaged gradually over time. what our hope is to problems early on so we can protect a healthy brain rather than wait until there's extensive damage. >> brown: just fill in the picture a little bit for us in lehman's terms. what is it that you're looking at in the brain? what do you look for after there's been concussion or repeated hits?
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>> what we're looking for are tiny abnormal protein deposits that collect in areas of the brain that control muscle movement, that control mood, control thinking and memory. and what we've done is studied this extensively in alzheimers patients. now for the first time we've looked at professional athletes who have had concussions, who have had some of these symptoms. we see a pattern that we'd expect from autopsies >> brown: tell me more about the pattern. what happens? what do you see? >> what we see is cleks of these tiny protein deposits in deep portions of the brain. actually in an area of the brain that controls emotion which is not surprising since many of these players have mood symptoms. they have higher levels of depression than normal people. >> brown: what's the hope then in knowing this information especially in knowing it earlier? what does that... what might that allow you to do?
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>> it might allow us to develop a test for managing these problems. if a player has a concussion, we might know when to keep that player out of the game for a while. it also allows us to test new drugs and treatments that are geared towards protecting the brain before these protein deposits build up and other damage occurs. >> brown: you mean even one day get to the level of an actual game decision of whether someone should stay in the game, could it also i assume could have implications for people's careers? >> that's possible. certainly it could help protect players. but it's not just professional athletes. it also has to do with amateur athletes, military personnel, auto accident victims, almost anybody who has had a blow to the head. this could be an opportunity to detect problems early on and try to protect the brain from further damage.
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>> brown: how does one do that, protect the brain from further damage once you see that something is, if not started, at risk for starting? >> well, right now with sports keeping the player out of the game. the brain needs to heal like any part of the body when there's been an injury. while we're waiting for science to catch up with new innovative treatments, we know there are lifestyle strategies that are brain protective, aerobic physical conditioning, a healthy diet. stress management. these are the kinds of strategies in the alzheimers prevention program that we recommend for everyone. i think it's critically important to take note of these for head trauma victims. we know there's a connection between head trauma and brain disease. people who get knocked out for an hour or more have a risk that is double that of the general population for developing alzheimers disease. >> brown: i think you've been
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very clear to say that this isn't quite definitive. you're not at that stage. it's a small study. tell me about the caveats still out there in your mind now and what more you need to do? >> well, we need to look at more players. we need to follow them over time. and we need to do a study of a player who has had a scan who passes away and then look at their autopsy tissue to see if we can correlate that individual subject. so we have some more work to do. but we think these results are important to guide further research. one thing that was quite striking about the study was that the pattern on the brain scans was identical to the patterns seen in autopsy cases of this condition known as chronic traumatic... c.t.e., that's been described in players >> brown: what kind of reaction are you getting so far from other researchers, other people who have looked into this. i don't know if you're getting any reaction from the nfl or
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other sports organizations >> we haven't heard from the nfl. we've had some positive response from the players association. and a lot of encouragement from other scientists that this is interesting work. >> brown: just finally dr. small beyond sports and i guess this applies also to war injuries as well. what are the other implications of looking at the brain this way? you yourself do a lot of work in alzheimers so what's the link? >> i think the link is that we've got to protect our heads. whether it's from head trauma, whether it's from wear and tear from aging, whether it's stress, lack of exercise, overweight, obesity. there are so many physical problems that can wreak havoc on our brain health. we've really got to be careful of protecting our brains. >> brown: dr. gary small of ucla. thanks so much >> thank you. >> brown: you can find links to past newshour coverage on
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concussions and the health consequences on our home page. >> ifill: 40 years after it became legal, the debate over abortion rights has not gone away. according to a new "wall street journal"/nbc news poll released today, 70% of americans believe "roe v. wade," the supreme court decision which legalized the practice, should be allowed to stand. but 58% of those polled for the survey also favored imposing some limits on abortion. a pew research poll last week found 63% supported "roe v. wade." but the parameters of the discussion have evolved, as the battleground has shifted from washington to the states. joining us to discuss the shape of that debate four decades later are charmaine yoest. she's president of americans united for life. and nancy keenan, outgoing president of naral pro-choice america. welcome to you both. so, 40 years later, is roe
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versus wade still relevant? >> absolutely. and i think because the whole issue around whether individual women make their decision with their family, their doctor, their god or whether politicians as the governor or state legislator is absolutely relevant. it is something we all have to be vigilant around in protecting this very basic freedom for women. >> ifill: charmaine yoest is the fight playing out in the federal level or is it moved on? >> it's really moved on. the day after roe, abortion policy will be governed by the state closer to the people where it belongs. over the last two years americans for life legal team has been involved in seeing the passage of 50 bills that are limiting abortion in ways that the american people see as very common sense. parental consent, informed consent, clinic regulations. there's a lot going on at the state level that is exciting and energizing to this movement. >> ifill: if the antiabortion movement has been chipping away at the edges over these 40 years while everybody has been focused
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in keeping the supreme court out of this, are they making progress? >> i think what happens is that when we see, for example, personhood being introduced in mississippi and when the people have the actual opportunity to vote at that ballot box they vote no and ject it. we saw the abortion ban in south dakota twice defeated by the people. i think the thing here is that a politicians that are being elected are stealth. they don't run. they don't come to your door saying they're going to be run and be antichoice or going to restrict women's access. they come and talk to you about the economy and jobs. then they get there and people are finding that these laws are passed. many of which are outrageous and they don't accept. we saw that in virginia when there was outrage over the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound. womespontaneously showed up at e capital saying shop this nonsense >> ifill: your folks have said we're moving from talking about the baby to talking about the mother and talking about women.
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but if issues these personhood issues, these amendments and the transvaginal discussion that happened in virginia, how is that fit into your strategy? >> it's just funny for nancy to completely write off state legislators who are very close to the people. over the last few years we've had 2500 requests in 39 states for help to pass pro-life legislation. so there is a real vibrancy right now to looking at common sense kinds of solutions that fit where the american people are >> ifill: what happens at the ballot box when it's not being done by legislators? >> well i think it's a little disingenuous to discount what legislators are doing when they actually report to the people and can be thrown out of office >> ifill: you're discounting the ballot box? >> no i'm not discounting the ballot box. what i'm saying is there is a dine nism to what is going on. there was a three fold increase in legislative action across the country over the last several years. so i think that we're ver energized by this and see a real
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gain of momentum gathering as we move forward into the next decade >> ifill: let's talk about that. you say they're stealth. if they are legislators who represent this point of view who are getting things done, who are getting these bills enacted how is your movement pushing back against that? >> it's all about the elections. it's all about making sure that those people that are elected whether at the courthouse or to a white house that they share the values of the american public as you've seen at the polls. the american public does not want roe overturned. they also reject these barriers that are being put up for women. i'll give you the example of the ultrasound. a forced procedure against her will without a doctor's recommendation. these are politicians sitting in a state house saying we know best. we know best for you what the decision should be one way or another. yes, those politicians are being elected. my point is that they are some of the most extreme in the country and that the people, if they knew more specifically what they were standing for, if they
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ran on their pro-life values i think they'd be rejected also at the ballot box. >> i think that nancy is discounting where the american people are looking at common sense things like parental consent. you know, even my friends who disagree with me on abortion are saying if my daughter is going in for a major medical procedure i want to know about it. the question becomes, is there... there's not an abortion that the abortion lobby ever wants to see reined in, even this last year we had a debate over sex selection abortion and whether you should be able to abort a baby just because she's a little girl or because the baby might be disabled. there is never a regulation that they are willing to sign on to. and be reasonable about >> ifill: let's step back for a moment and think about this argument philosophically. you and i have had arguments about what abortion should be and the gray areas and what it should be allowed and what shouldn't be. four decades now. you step back. we have now a generation of women who came of age at a time when roe was law-a it was never challenged. where are those women going and
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how are you speaking to them, the post roe generation? >> there are several. i think the good news is that this millennial generation, under 30, there are 76 million of them in this country, and they share the pro-choice values. they believe that women should make this decision and not a politician. in addition, we have to... they have to connect that personal, those personal values by acting politically. so i believe there is enormous hope for the future for this generation to act much more progressively, much more actively in the political arena once they decide to run for office, once they decide to vote for people, they're going to take those pro-choice values with them >> that just doesn't square up with what we're seeing in the actual data. nancy has said in interviews she was stunned last year when she saw how many young people were flooding into washington d.c. for the march for life. there are two groups of people that are creating a real dine nism in the pro-life movement. one are young people who are demonstrably more pro-life than their parents were. the second is this whole
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increasing community of women who have survived abortion themselves and who are willing to come forward now and say that they regret their abortions. they feel betrayed. they feel like they were not given all the information they were needed by the women and the men who claimed to be representing their interests >> ifill: has the argument shifted now from where it used to be, from legality, whether this should be legal, to access to these procedures? >> i think it's absolutely where the debate is. it is legal in this country. and the fact that the access has become difficult for women because of the barriers that the antichoice movement has put in front of these women. a 24-hour waiting period sounds like pretty good idea until you live in the middle of south dakota and nebraska and the closest clinic is several hundreds miles away. you've made a decision. you've thought about it. now you go and you have to travel, maybe have day care or child care for your children, get a hotel and then come back and think about it for 24 hours. women think about this. they understand the complexity of it. they know what their decision is
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because it's their life their story. that's where the disconnect is. who do you trust? who decides in there's the million dollar question. who decides? does she or the government >> women feel betrayed by an abortion industry that has put money and profits over women's health. there are over a dozen clinics that are being investigated today across this country for unsafe, unsanitary conditions and the abortion lobby does everything they can, everything they can to keep from having common sense regulations put in place. we regulate vet clinics better than abortion clinics in this country. that is outrageous. that is not serving american women. american women are the ones speaking up and saying enough. >> ifill: as this debate moves to the stays and as it moves to these incremental efforts to undermine roe, is there a danger that roe might just collapse? it may always continue to exist basic allegation be cannibalized from within by all of these other efforts? >> i think that we always have to be vigilant.
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and i think that we have to make sure that people that are elected to office understand what is at stake here. that's freedom and privacy. but i do believe that the people in this country share the values of being pro-choice. they're not going to let that happen. >> is that your goal ultimately that roe doesn't matter because it's been taken apart from inside >> it's interesting. we stand with north korea and china as the only four countries in the entire world that don't regulate abortion after viability. we can do ber as a civilized country of not only for babies but also for women, for protecting women's health. >> ifill: charmaine voaft of americans united for life and nancy keenan of pro-choice america. thank you very much for a civilized conversation about abortion >> thank you, gwen. ifill: bete ann bowser >> ifill: online, health correspondent betty ann bowser examines how public opinions on abortion have-- and haven't-- changed over the years. and from the newshour archives, see our 1992 reporting when the supreme court revisited the "roe v. wade" decision and upheld it.
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>> brown: again, the major developments of the day. president obama's forceful new focus on progressive ideals drew praise and potshots on this first working day of his second term. house republicans forged ahead with plans to push through a short-term increase in the national debt ceiling. late today it was widely reported that the pentagon has cleared general john allen, top u.s. commander in afghanistan for sending improper emails to a tampa socialite. >> ifill: and before we go, an update on our reporting online. in today's "ask larry" column, how same-sex marriage could potentially impact social security benefits. that's on making sense. also, there is advice on how to secure that job offer in our weekly column "ask the headhunter." and tonight's edition of "frontline" investigates why some wall street executives have escaped prosecution for fraud tied to the sale of bad mortgages. "the untouchables" airs on most pbs stations. find a link to "frontline" and
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much more on our web site, >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll talk with the first openly gay member of the u.s. senate, wisconsin's tammy baldwin. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> viking river cruises. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
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and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, i'm laura trevelyan couldn't benjamin netanyahu is expected to hold onto power. -- i'm laura trevelyan. benjamin netanyahu is expected to hold onto power. >> right now, the battle here is over. but in many places it is just beginning. >> the new exhibit put this portrait in the spotlight. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and elsewhere around thelo
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